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New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat launch to casualty with broken ankle

ON SUNDAY afternoon (Oct 9) both New Quay RNLI’s lifeboats were tasked by HM Coastguard to assist a casualty with a broken ankle on a remote beach at Ynys Lochtyn, near Llangrannog. 

At 1.30pm, with four volunteer crew members on board, the D-class inshore lifeboat launched first, and in a strong southerly wind they made good speed down the coast. Minutes later the relief Mersey class lifeboat, Lilly and Vincent Anthony, which had only arrived on station the day before, launched on service with seven volunteer crew members. 

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “We arrived first on scene and were able to assess the casualty and administer pain relief. We then discussed various options of how to extract the casualty. We decided it was best to meet the ambulance on New Quay pier due to the sea conditions in Llangrannog. 

“Before we could evacuate the casualty we placed her in a stretcher and immobilised her legs to ensure no more damage to the injured ankle. Two crew members from the all-weather lifeboat joined us on the beach and we were able to transfer the casualty from the beach to the inshore lifeboat and then onto the all-weather lifeboat to transport her to New Quay.  

“On arrival in New Quay we transferred the casualty to shore in the inshore lifeboat and rendezvoused with the ambulance service and the coastguard rescue team on New Quay pier. We all wish the casualty a speedy recovery.” 

It had been a typical Sunday afternoon walk for Sarah Powell, from Drefach Felindre, when the accident happened. Sarah said, 

“As a family we have been walking this coastline for many years and it was just like any normal Sunday afternoon walk with my husband and daughter.  

“We were on a lovely little beach you can access when the tide is out, just up the coast from Llangrannog, so quite remote. My foot slipped on a rock, my ankle went sideways and I knew immediately it was bad as I heard my ankle snap and saw the bones were in the wrong position. I couldn’t move, we were stuck on the beach with the tide coming in. My husband called 999 and asked for the Coastguard. 

“The comfort of seeing the lifeboats arriving not long after the call was huge. Both for me and my family. The crew were all amazing, so kind and gentle, I felt very calm and safe. They talked me through every step of the way – from putting me on the stretcher at the beach to handing me over to the ambulance at New Quay harbour and where my family were waiting.   

“I have been in hospital now for nearly a week, once the swelling has gone down I can get my ankle pinned and go home. I would like to say a massive thank you to all those involved with my rescue and applaud you all for your time and dedication, you are all so very appreciated.”